Best Ways to Prevent the Most Common AC Problems

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Guest post by Stephanie Gordon, New AC Unit

You can get the best AC system ever made, and have it installed by the most competent AC professionals in your city. That, however, doesn’t mean that it won’t be experiencing issues down the road. An air conditioner, after all, is a machine, and all machines eventually malfunction at some point.

Purpose:  To learn the ongoing maintenance needs of air conditioning (cooling) systems.


  • Proper AC unit installation
  • Important AC cleaning maintenance that can be DIYed.
  • Which maintenance needs to be done by a pro.


It’s also important to note that AC systems have a lot of different components, and a problem with one component could mean a problem for the entire system.

Then again, while making your AC system 100% reliable at all times is next to impossible, preventing some common AC problems is not. Here’s what you can do to keep your air conditioner performing well for as long as it can.

Make sure the AC unit was installed properly

You can hold off any AC issues right at the beginning by making sure the AC technicians installing your unit do their jobs right. With proper AC installation, your AC will perform excellently for some time before aging, wear and tear, or other internal and factors start taking their natural toll on it.

Keep the air filter clean

Something as simple as keeping your AC unit running on clean filters can keep it operating smoothly for a longer time. If the filter in your AC is dirty, airflow resistance will increase, and distributing the air-conditioned air throughout your home will be more difficult, forcing your unit to work harder. That leads to lasting damage, not to mention higher energy costs. So always remember to clean or replace your AC filter at least every three months.

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Clean the outdoor unit periodically

The outdoor unit of your AC system is exposed to the elements. It would be easy for debris and dust to gather and make it harder for the condenser coils to disperse heat into the air, putting undue strain on the entire unit. To prevent this from happening, you need to clean the unit regularly by hosing it down to remove caked-up dirt. Just remember to shut the power off completely before you do this.

You also have to be mindful of its overall condition at all times and make sure no debris like broken-off tree branches, any plants or shrubbery are covering it. Keeping the area within a few feet of the unit clear can help you prevent problems with your condenser coils as well as your condenser fans.

Install an overflow switch

Another common problem that most AC units experience is a water leak. Water leaks usually happen when the condensate drain line gets blocked by dirt. Aside from messing up the area around the unit, a water leak can also make your home smell musty and eventually enable the formation of mold in your home. Installing an overflow switch can prevent a water leak because it shuts the entire system down before it happens, then you can unblock the condensate drain line.

Have electrical components checked

As with all appliances, air conditioning units may go through electrical and power issues. Overheating is a common problem, and it can trip the circuit breaker. More often than not, a circuit breaker trip can be fixed by just flipping the circuit breaker switch. However, some electrical problems could arise out of bad wiring, so having your wiring checked during an AC tune-up can help you prevent electrical issues with your air conditioner.


Install a programmable thermostat

Older control systems tend to malfunction and set the temperature inaccurately, which could lead to higher energy costs, among other things. Prevent any more issues that an old thermostat can do by replacing it with a programmable thermostat that can keep the temperature inside your home consistent at all times. The energy savings they bring also makes getting smart thermostats worth it.

Charge the correct amount of refrigerant

One of the main reasons air conditioners freeze up is insufficient refrigerant. When your AC is low on refrigerant, it’s possible that it was undercharged during installation. Air conditioners should always have the correct amount of refrigerant, so when you call an air conditioning specialist, make sure that he or she will charge the right amount as stated in the AC manufacturer’s specifications.

If the cause of insufficient refrigerant is a leak, waste no time in having your AC technician fix it. Aside from making your AC freeze up, a refrigerant leak also harms the environment.

Have regular preventative AC maintenance done

You don’t have to wait for your AC unit to exhibit problems. To deal with air conditioner issues long before they rear their ugly heads, it is always best to have trusted air conditioning professionals perform preventative AC maintenance on your unit.

The benefits of preventative AC maintenance are manifold. Aside from making sure your unit won’t suffer any breakdowns anytime soon, preventative maintenance can also improve your air conditioner’s energy efficiency and help lower your energy bills. Regular maintenance also helps extend the life of your AC and makes sure it performs well all throughout its life cycle. You also won’t have to spend for costly repairs because preventative maintenance works hard to keep the unit and all its parts working exceptionally for as long as it could.

In the end, a combination of minor maintenance work by you and full-on professional maintenance by AC technicians are the best ways to prevent the most common AC problems. Make sure both are done consistently, and you will have an AC system that will keep you and your family cool for a long, long time.

Guest post by Stephanie Gordon, New AC Unit

Bio:  Stephanie Gordon is a content marketing specialist for New AC Unit. Aside from creating online content on energy-efficiency, Stephanie enjoys running and biking with her family and friends to stay fit.